3 keys to covering an event on social media
There is about a 75 percent chance you are reading this on a phone or tablet and an even greater chance you are reading this because you clicked a link on Twitter or Facebook. That was all part of our plan to produce content, promote that content and engage with our audience. This is the same approach that our TGR Live marketing team takes when planning our social media and content strategy for the three PGA TOUR golf tournaments we operate annually.
The Genesis Open, Quicken Loans National and Hero World Challenge are large scale events with tens of thousands of guests each year. But the reach of these events is exponentially greater on social media. With a global following, it takes careful thought to craft a social media plan that showcases each tournament effectively. Each tournament has its own channels across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and the goal of each handle is to bring our events to life. Here are our keys to developing and executing a social media plan at a golf tournament.
- Plan in advance: while each tournament is a live event, planning your content in advance is a key to success. It can take up to a month to strategically plan the social calendar for tournament week. We plan collaboratively. The marketing team shares ideas, best practices and concepts for new content with the broader tournament team. Once the ideation stage is complete, we move on to planning content based on KPIs and goals for the week, writing copy and reviewing at analytics to see which times and days of the week content is likely to be most effective. During this process, we also assign responsibilities to each social channel, post and staff members.
- React in real-time: the reason for planning social content in advance is to lighten the heavy lifting of content creation during event week. While we can pre-plan as much as possible, live events still present the dynamics of real-time action and elements that require you to stay flexible. Did someone just hit a hole in one? Is there a great photo captured of a family enjoying their day on course? During event week, content often finds you and our role is distributing that content to further engagement.
- It takes a team: while the marketing department leads the social media efforts for TGR Live tournaments, our success is dictated by the contributions of the team at large. Social media is about engaging with a community; in our case a community that is interested in our events. But to do that it takes a team. Our team plans, executes and responds across all social platforms. As a team, we can cover much more ground than any one individual, allowing us to execute a robust social media strategy across each channel. From photographers to interns to volunteers and TGR Live staff members, our marketing and social media execution is successful because of the help of many team-oriented individuals. Quality social media during an event extends far beyond what our TGR Live team posts to our channels. Building strategies to make user generated content easy to capture and share is a priority of our team.
Now that you know our process, how does it all come together? Let’s look at the 2017 Genesis Open as a case study. The 2017 Genesis Open was the first year TGR Live operated the historic tournament at The Riviera Country Club. Our pre-planning allowed our team to put together a great plan that highlighted the shared experience of the players and guests at the tournament. But heading into tournament week, we saw a potential threat to our plan: weather. The forecast for Los Angeles predicted rain during tournament week, specifically on Friday. To prepare for the pending rainstorm, our team took the following set of actions:
- During the planning stage of the social campaign, we worked with our graphic design team to create a set of graphics to be used across our website and social media to release important information in real-time. The ability to clearly and concisely release information through our social channels about weather delays, possible course closures and ticket policies was a priority.
- Having pre-builtgraphic templates allowed us to react on Friday morning of tournament week. The first few groups teed off under a light drizzle but then the sky opened up. A downpour halted play for the remainder of the day, closing the course to players, fans and guests. We built a graphic announcing the course was closed and posted it on social media.
- Once we announced the course had been closed and play had been stopped,the ticket sales, hospitality and marketing teams worked hand-in-hand to develop a revised attendance policy for those affected by the weather. Again, this information was placed in a pre-made template and posted to social media and on the tournament website, GenesisOpen.com.
- The process worked. Information was clearly and concisely communicated. The image posted to the Genesis Open Twitter account of the revised Friday ticket policy was the account’s top tweet with media of February according to Twitter analytics.
Want to see our plans in action? Follow along!
@GenesisOpen on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ❘ #WelcomeToTheClub
@QLNational on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ❘ #DeclareYourDay
Hero World Challenge on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram ❘ #HeroWorldChallenge